Samantha Wills Earrings

About three years ago I was introduced by a friend of mine to bohemian costume jewellery designer Samantha Wills and I have been pretty much obsessed with her collections ever since. So when my best friend’s birthday (who introduced me to the brand) was coming up I thought; something from Samantha Wills would be just perfect. After browsing the website I fell in love with these gorgeous ‘All for you’ Grande Earrings (link).

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I have to admit that once they arrived it became extremely hard to part with them because I love them so much myself haha. I really hope she loves them but I might have to get a pair for myself now too ;)

Samantha Will’s success has been called “Australia’s biggest export since Vegemite” How it all started; “One school holiday, Mum took me to beading classes at the local craft shop in Port Macquarie, where I grew up. That’s where I learnt the basics. I was 11 years old,” Sam says.

She made friendship bracelets for her school friends and swore to her teachers she’d make a living out of surf-style sterling silver necklaces – which isn’t far from true. When she was 20 she moved to Sydney and opened a stall at the Bondi markets, held every Sunday. A friend then offered her a miniscule stand at Australian Fashion Week, where she logged $17,000 worth of orders, and that was it – by 21 years old, Sam had launched her first collection.

Not only do I love her jewellery but I also follow her on Instagram (link) and adore seeing everything about her fabulous and stylish life in NYC! Here are some other Samantha Wills pieces I’m currently lusting after.

Had you heard of Samantha Wills before?


  
Leave a comment | Posted in Earrings, Fashion, Jewellery

Fail Proof Scones Recipe – Lemonade Scones

When it comes to British baking my absolute favourite treat is freshly baked scones served with clotted cream and jam! Scones are perfect for picnics, girly afternoon teas, bringing a plate along to family lunches or to share at the office. People always think that scones are hard to make but I am about to change your life by sharing with you my fail proof scones recipe. It’s super easy, using only a small amount of ingredients and it will give you delicious, perfect scones every time!

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Fail Proof Scones Recipe – Lemonade Scones

Ingredients:

4 cups self-raising flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
330ml can of lemonade
1 cup of cream
1/2 cup of sultanas (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl.
  3. Add the lemonade and cream and mix lightly until evenly combined. It’s important not to over mix otherwise the scones will become tough. I like to use a spatula to gently fold the mixture together.
  4. Sprinkle some flour onto a large cutting board and place the scone dough on top. Press it out into a rectangular shape roughly 4cm thick. Using a round shape, cut the dough into rounds. Or you can also cut the dough into even squares using a sharp knife. It depends on how you like your scones; perfectly round ones or a bit more rustic looking.
  5. Place the scones on a (lined) baking tray. I always place them close to each other so they rise better! Bake for 12 minutes, or until puffed and golden.
  6. Scones can be eaten while still warm or when completely cooled. Serve with jam and clotted or whipped cream depending on your preference.

Makes approximately 13 medium sized scones. Original recipe from The Best of Annabel Langbein: Great Food for Busy Lives (link)

Variation – Savoury Cheese Scones: use soda water instead of lemonade, omit the sugar and add 1 cup of grated tasty cheese and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Add chopped bacon or onion if desired – trust me it’s a yummy little addition!)

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These fail proof scones are also extremely versatile. Into the scone batter, you could add chopped dates, sultanas, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, caramel bits, berries, pumpkin, cinnamon, nuts and much more or go for my savoury variation. The possibilities are endless!

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For my recent homemade girly afternoon (read post here) I made a batch of plain and sultana scones because I know some people don’t like sultanas. Personally I love them! I served mine with a big bowl of clotted cream, strawberry jam, blackberry jam and lemon curd and let the girls go crazy. It’s fair to say that they absolutely loved them!

Go on, this Fail Proof Scones recipe is so easy. Why don’t you whip up some next time you’ve got someone coming over for a cup of tea!


  
Leave a comment | Posted in Baking, Food, Lifestyle, Recipe

Brunch at Apero South Kensington

A little while back I tried a new brunch place in South Kensington. I am normally not one for the hotel breakfasts, but the brunch menu at Apero sounded pretty appealing so was keen to give it a go. Apero is located in the cellars of the Ampersand boutique Hotel in the heart of South Kensington. The atmosphere and décor in Apero is really nice and very casual, with wooden chairs, bricks and tiles, and it looks like your typical brunch cafe instead of a hotel restaurant. Me and a friend started off with coffee while deciding what to get from the weekend brunch menu.

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They offer a ‘help yourself’ from the counter option for £14 which means you can help yourself as much as you want from the buffet table which has: Orford smoked cheddar, Emmental, Brie, Gloucester Old Spot ham, Mortadella, Feta & Spinach croissant, Homemade muffin, Cinnamon brioche, Chocolate brioche, Assorted pastries, Banana bread, Sour dough bread, Fresh fruit salad, Loseley yoghurt, Greek yoghurt, Bircher muesli, Granola, Cereals, Dried fruits and unlimited hot drinks & juice. So if you’re hungry, go for this option!

Or you can select from the a la carte menu with options like; a Full English Breakfast, Brioche French Toast with bacon, cinnamon & banana, Cumberland Sausage Ring with fried eggs, Homemade Waffles with vanilla poached pear & chocolate or Coconut Porridge with caramelised banana. My friend went for the ‘from the counter option’ and got stuck in at the buffet to try a bit of everything!

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Back at our cute little private (cave) table by the window, we shared the many treats like Banana Bread, Fresh Grapefruit, Bircher Muesli and a selection of cheeses.

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From the a la carte menu we got the Turkish style eggs with yoghurt & chilli and the Avocado on grilled sourdough with coriander & lime. I was extremely excited for the Turkish style eggs (because I am addicted to Peter Gordon’s version at The Providores & Tapas room) but unfortunately they didn’t quite live up to their expectation. It was tasty, but just not what I was expecting so was a little disappointed. It basically was more poached eggs covered in a chilli & yoghurt sauce which tasted good but it just wasn’t what I was craving. The avocado on sourdough with coriander & lime was simple and delicious. You pretty much can’t go wrong with avocado on toast in my books.

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Overall I enjoyed brunch at Apero. The one thing to remember is that it is still a hotel so the vibe isn’t very buzzy but that makes it perfect for a more quiet brunch catch up morning, right in the middle of South Kensington. Oh and you can book a table online so that’s always a bonus. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from noon to 2.30pm. Find out more at aperorestaurantandbar.com.

Apero Restaurant & Bar
Ampersand Hotel
2 Harrington Road
SW7 3ER.

Are you a fan of hotel breakfasts or do you prefer a little cafe?


  
Leave a comment | Posted in Brunch, Food, Lifestyle, London, Restaurants

Three rules of life

Just a quick mid-week motivational post from me today. Love these simple three rules of life! And luckily I actually don’t mind seeds in my watermelon ;)

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 Happy Hump Day. I hope you have a great day!


  
1 Comment | Posted in Happy Hump Day, Quotes

Weekend Scenes

I had my parents visiting me in London this weekend so here are a few pictures from my Instagram to show you what we got up to! They arrived Saturday morning so of course, the first thing I had to do was cook them brunch at ‘cafe Roz’ at my new home.

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My home-cooked Shakshuka brunch for mum & dad. I love this spiced tomato egg dish and it’s very easy. Watch this space for the recipe // Going for a big walk exploring (and getting a little lost) in Hampstead Heath // Kenwood House in Hampstead Heath // Enjoying some tea and cakes at the cafe at Kenwood House in the park before walking back home.

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Ready for dinner out in Notting Hill, wearing striped top from Oasis (now on sale -link!) with leather pencil skirt from ZARA // Beautiful decor and lighting at the Dock Kitchen // The Dock Kitchen by Stevie Parle is a great restaurant overlooking the Grand Union Canal in Ladbroke Grove, West London. The food was delicious and we had a lovely evening. Review and more photos to follow!

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I’d heard about a Sunday’s Farmers Market in Queens Park (which is just around the corner from my house) so this weekend I decided to explore it with my parents.  Like father, like daughter; we both share a of love food so all the fresh produce and market stalls was a treat and great way to start the day! Mum and dad had coffee with fresh croissants for breakfast and I couldn’t resist a slightly naughtier breakfast roll with egg and a venison sausage from the Picks Organic Farm stall. Nom nom :)  The Queens Park Farmers Market is on every Sunday from 10am – 2pm. More information HERE.

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On Sunday the annual famous Boat Race was on between Cambridge and Oxford. Seeing my mum is a keen rower she was rather excited to check out this race on the Thames // We headed out to Putney, stocked up on some freshly popped popcorn and drinks and secured our spot along the river to cheer on the rowers. The weather was quite windy and a bit rainy but it was great fun to see the all the excitement and many people celebrating such a big event.

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After being outside for most of the afternoon we could do with some warming up, so the best way to do this was to going to a cosy pub for a Sunday Roast! We went to one of my favourite pubs in Notting Hill/Kensington which is the Windsor Castle. Their roast is always top-notch and their sticky toffee pudding…..YUM! // On Monday, I unfortunately had to go to work but mum & dad continued to explore  around London and checked out the National Gallery to see the Veronese exhibition – which they said was beautiful // We reunited again in the evening for dinner at Ottolenghi in Islington. Me & dad are both a little bit Ottolenghi obsessed so it was amazing to go to his flagship restaurant in London for dinner together. Of course a full (picture heavy) review filled with plenty of foodporn to follow!

What a great family & food filled weekend!


  
1 Comment | Posted in Instagram, Lifestyle, London, Photography